All posts by Unique Homes Staff

Olivia Newton-John Puts her Australian Farmhouse on the Market

First introduced to the world in the 1970s with a string of No. 1 hit songs and blockbuster movies, super-star actress, four-time Grammy winner and world-class beauty, Olivia Newton-John, is selling her Australia farm that she has owned for almost forty years.

Olivia bought her farm in the early 1980s after her roll in the 1978 film Grease, the break that would make her a super star. It was her Australian retreat where she would recharge in the peace of the rainforest and views over the land.

Now 70 and with Florida as her home base, when Olivia does return to Australia she and her husband, John Easterling, stay at the Gaia Retreat & Spa which she co-owns. Hoping to attract a buyer who is as close to nature as herself, she has put the 187-acre farm and its French Country-style home on the market for offers in excess of $5.5 million AU ($3.9 million US).

Located only 40 minutes from celebrity and tourist favorite Byron Bay, the farm is a mix of rolling pasture and green lawns with panoramic views, rain forest with a natural waterfall, two dams, a pond and a creek that runs through the property, which abuts the Victoria Park Nature Reserve National Park and acts as its boundary. Over the years Newton-John planted over 5,000 additional trees expanding the prolific wildlife habitat. Grounds include the main residence of three bedrooms and two baths and attached four-room guest quarters, two-car garage and tennis court. The home, positioned on a hill to maximize the views, was renovated in 2002 in the French rustic style.

It includes pine floors, textured entry walls with shells and pebbles from local beaches, and a large eat-in kitchen designed as a gathering spot for friends and family. Multiple outdoor porches and terraces, including a wide dock on the pond, invite outdoor living and sunset views. The attached, but completely private guest suite, has a large living room, a kitchenette, bedroom, bath and additional conversation nook, making a total of four bedrooms and three baths.

With more than 100 million albums sold, Olivia has won four Grammys, numerous Aria, Country Music, American Music and People’s Choice Awards, an Emmy Award plus ten #1 hit songs.

Olivia Newton-John is selling her much-loved Australian farm originally purchased nearly four decades ago during the era of her hit single, Physical. Seeking offers in excess of $5.5 million AU ($3.9 million US), the listing agent is also Newton-John’s lifelong friend Jillian McGrath with McGrath Estate Agents, Northern Beaches Office Australia.

Photos courtesy of  McGrath. Source: TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.

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Privacy and Seclusion in Spain

“Cap Blanc Ibiza” is in one of Spain’s most desired locations on the island — Cap Martinet, Talamanca.

The exclusive private residence of nine luxury villas was designed so each home ensures the privacy and seclusion of its owners.

“It is just a short drive to the world’s best nightlife, and some of the most spectacular white-sand beaches you can imagine,” says Richard Lacey of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Blue Moon who is representing the property. “Ibiza is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.”

The home showcases stunning architecture inspired by contemporary, Brazilian design — a work of a team of leading Dutch and Spanish architects that create these properties where outdoors and indoors merge and flow.

Notable features include floor-to-ceiling windows and large doors that provide unobstructed views of the sea and the island of Formentera. “The lounge for me is the best spot, high ceilings with lots of light, ideal for entertaining,” says Lacey.  

Listed for 3.5 million euros, the home also features 600 square meters of living space over three floors, five en-suite bedrooms, open-space fully equipped kitchen, incredible sea views, private garden with spacious swimming pool, private garage, state-of-the-art security, additional service kitchen, fitness room and sauna, and a wine cellar. There is also an optional private movie theater and separate accommodation for staff. The nine residences that make up Cap Blanc Ibiza offer unparalleled amenities and facilities for those seeking a place to relax in comfortable luxury. 

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Introducing Barbados’ Luxury Real Estate

Barbados’ most luxurious harbor-front and beachfront resort and luxury real estate properties, Port Ferdinand and Saint Peter’s Bay offer prime real estate and accommodation on the Platinum Coast, the West Coast of the island, which is not only renowned for its calm and clear waters, but also the exclusive selection of restaurants and resorts. Located outside of the hurricane belt, where the West Indies meets the Caribbean sits Barbados – a diverse island, full of rich British history, delicious rums, and of course, white sand beaches along a blue-green sea.

Photo courtesy of Saint Peter’s Bay Oceanfront Residences.

Port Ferdinand Yacht & Beach Club Residence:

Starting at $2.1 million with a collection of two to five-bedroom luxury harbor-front villas, Port Ferdinand Yacht & Beach Club Residences offers homeowners luxury living in a full-service marina and yachting community. Providing a wealth of amenities including 60’ yacht slips, 100’ dockside storage room for each residence, waterfront eateries and bars, expansive Sandbox Tree spa and fitness center and 1.4 acres of pristine beachfront, the resort is perfect for anyone seeking a truly unique and luxurious Caribbean getaway. A new stylish bistro by Barbados’ finest chef, Larry Rogers, Dockside at 13˚/59˚, has also recently opened at Port Ferdinand, offering high quality meals using fresh quality ingredients in a relaxed dockside setting. Port Ferdinand is also home to the newest Nikki Beach Club!

Saint Peter’s Bay Oceanfront Residences:

Located a mere 3km away is Port Ferdinand’s sister resort, Saint Peter’s Bay. Consisting of a unique collection of three- and five-bedroom beachfront homes and penthouses for homeownership and rental, St. Peter’s Bay Resort & Residences boasts a private and discreet environment for all its esteemed guests. With residences starting at $1.6 million, the luxurious, but deeply relaxed beachfront resort, offers villa-style homes spread over 150 ft of pristine beach with crystal clear water – encapsulating Barbados’ appeal in one of its most exclusive settings.  

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Modern Retro Made Luxury

Trends and styles traditionally fade out of the limelight only to resurface a few generations later, usually with a few twists and fresh perspectives. But retro themes and designs remain popular and are now making an appearance in the realm of luxury.

Photo courtesy of DelightFULL

Photo courtesy of Essential Home

Incorporate Brass

Overall, brass contributes to a classical ambiance and can complete the vintage look you’ve been searching for.

A vintage floor lamp will fit perfectly in your mid-century modern living room or vintage retro design hallway. With a structure made in polished Estremoz marble and with multiple lampshades made in brass and aluminum, this floor light is a modern lamp full of grace and charm.

The Monocles Screen is a refined room divider. The folding brass structure holds three walnut panels with brass holes that let you glimpse into the other side. Stylish and functional like no other.

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co

Photo courtesy of Smithers of Stamford

Rattan and Recycled is Retro

This Retro Rattan Console blends craftsmanship and texture with a little bit of artisan vintage into your space. Cane wickerwork and teak framework work perfectly together to reinvent the 70’s furniture trend into a more refined, elegant shape, styled more for modern homes.

Made from solid recycled boat hardwood, the satin hand-painted finish has been added to bring out the beauty of this retro speedway range. It’s retro, unique and a lifetime buy that will never go out of fashion.

Photo courtesy of Yellow Octopus

Photo courtesy of Lights4fun

Props that aren’t Played Out

The GPO 200 classic, British Rotary Telephone is a one-stop communication portal for all your conversation needs. Touch base with friends and family, then buzz, dial and connect with a classic design of modern technology. Bring a piece of iconic phone technology right back into the present.

Retro Cinema Lightbox is the perfect opportunity to customize your decor. Create a fun message that suits your mood and enjoy the classic element that will elevate your space.

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Polo is a Coveted Component of Equestrian Estates

The regal sport of polo is enjoying broader acceptance throughout America, but still thrives on its exclusivity.

The game of polo appears to date back to 600 B.C. in Persia, but the modern era began at clubs established by British officers in 19th century colonial India. The game earned a following amongst equestrian communities throughout the nation and has since become a coveted component of equestrian estates around the country.

Nestled in Santa Barbara Wine Country is Montecito paradise — a 20-acre estate featuring manicured landscaping, a Polo field with state of the art irrigation, and 17-stall horse stables with full amenities. Equestrian estates are being elevated with the inclusion of polo fields that give the homes an exclusive touch and endless entertaining opportunities.

The game is an undeniable social event with fashionable attire, delicious food, and plenty of opportunities to engage while enjoying the game. This $65 million Bella Vista Polo Ranch is ideal for entertainers that want to enjoy the game from the comfort of their own home and share the experience with their guests.

The home also boasts Santa Barabara’s largest private residential wine cellar and tasting room, top-of-the-line finishes, full spa and gym, and speakeasy-esque ballroom that adds to the estate’s refined and classic atmosphere. The Polo Ranch exudes the luxury that Nest Seeker International’s — a full-service residential and commercial luxury real estate brokerage firm — clientele has come to expect.  

For more information, and to view a full list of the home’s features and amenities, visit: https://www.nestseekers.com/1099490/single-family-summerland-los-angeles-ca.

Playing Polo

Field: Polo is played on a field measuring 160 yards wide and 300 yards long (approximately 10 acres), with eight-yard- wide goals at each end.

Field: Polo is played on a field measuring 160 yards wide and 300 yards long (approximately 10 acres), with eight-yard- wide goals at each end.

Field: Polo is played on a field measuring 160 yards wide and 300 yards long (approximately 10 acres), with eight-yard- wide goals at each end.

Game Duration: A game typically consists of six seven-minute “chukkers” separated by three-minute breaks, and a 15-minute halftime. Fresh polo ponies — despite the name, they are full-size horses — are constantly rotated into the game.

Game Duration: A game typically consists of six seven-minute “chukkers” separated by three-minute breaks, and a 15-minute halftime. Fresh polo ponies — despite the name, they are full-size horses — are constantly rotated into the game.

Game Duration: A game typically consists of six seven-minute “chukkers” separated by three-minute breaks, and a 15-minute halftime. Fresh polo ponies — despite the name, they are full-size horses — are constantly rotated into the game.

Line of the Ball: Established for orderly play and safety, the path of the ball may not be impeded and the player who last hit the ball has the right of way.

Line of the Ball: Established for orderly play and safety, the path of the ball may not be impeded and the player who last hit the ball has the right of way.

RESOURCES

Empire Polo Club, www.empirepolo.com International Polo Club Palm Beach, www.ipc.coth.com Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, www.sbpolo.com United States Polo Association, www.uspolo.org

Photos by Dmitriy Hanuka – Three D Media

Roger Grody contributed to this story

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Yacht Club de Monaco and Torqeedo Team Up to Eliminate Fossil Fuels

The Yacht Club de Monaco has thrown down the gauntlet for the sixth annual Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge, banning all fossil fuels and asking competitors and the Monegasque community to strive for zero emissions during the 5-day event. Torqeedo has partnered with Yacht Club de Monaco to ensure that all boats involved in the organisation of the event are 100% electric and will serve as the event’s Technical Sponsor.

“It’s essential that the yachting sector embrace clean energy sources to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” stated Bernard d’ Alessandri, Yacht Club de Monaco General Secretary. The Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge aims to inspire technical innovation by matching the creativity of young engineers with experienced manufacturers to design, develop and race emission-free boats. The excitement of racing is balanced with key players tackling issues such as how the yachting community can effect change on environmental challenges in the marine environment, sustainability and energy efficiency during a concurrent series of lectures and open forums.

Co-founder of Solar Impulse and Solar Class sponsor Bertrand Piccard said, “We need to demonstrate where the latest technology is leading us: it’s taking us a long way – in the right direction.”

“The Yacht Club de Monaco is, once again, demonstrating that it is a nerve centre of the green yachting movement,” said Dr. Christoph Ballin, co-founder and CEO of Torqeedo. “We’re proud to support the continued efforts of the Yacht Club de Monaco and its members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the development of sustainable boating technology.”

Teams from around world will gather at the Yacht Club de Monaco to participate in the Challenge from July 2 through July 6, 2019. The event is hosted in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the International Powerboating Federation.

Photos courtesy of Torqeedo.

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Phenomenal Estate in Ireland

Restored and refurbished, this immaculate residence in Dublin, Ireland spans over 492 square meters. 

“The attention to detail is phenomenal,” says listing agent Karen Mulvaney of Coldwell Banker Ireland. “There are pictured buttons on the light panels that represent scenes and moods. The current owners have thought of everything.”

Features of the home include a cinema, wine room, bar, gym, playroom, office and formal drawing room. “The drawing room is magnificent and made for a family Christmas,” says Mulvaney. “And, the large open plan kitchen/dining/living room is truly the heart of this home.”

The home, listed for 3.25 million euros, also offers a master suite with walk-in wardrobes and an en suite bath, and a garden that is landscaped to allow sunlight into different areas throughout the day.

“This is the perfect period home, without the maintenance, as it’s been future-proofed with technology, even though it was built sometime after 1780,” says Mulvaney.

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Summer Trends: Minimalism

In a recent Furniture Choice survey of adults in Great Britain, minimalism has emerged as a favorite summer interior design trend, beating out other decorating styles like maximalism, jungle and tropical.

Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice, shared three tips to achieve the minimalist trend at home.

Keep surfaces clean and clutter-free

Based on the philosophy that less is more, minimalism is an intentional mode of living centered around simplicity. When aiming for this look at home, Snowden recommends to focus on clean lines and clutter-free spaces.

“Start by decluttering ruthlessly – eliminate anything that’s unnecessary and store belongings out of sight,” she notes. “In the living area where multiple activities take place regularly, make it a habit to clear surfaces daily. Keep a sofa feeling cozy with a couple of cushions and tidy up the coffee table for a clean look that feels relaxing at the same time.”

Other ways to reduce a cluttered look is to keep wall décor to a minimum, opting for pieces that are simple and streamlined. “A few pieces of framed artwork can add personality to the room and make it feel lived-in while staying on-trend,” Snowden says.

 

Stick to a neutral color base

At the heart of minimalist styling is a neutral color palette — subtle hues of white, grey, taupe and similar earth tones are calming and make a space feel fresh and clean. According to Snowden, the easiest way to add style to a minimalist home is to choose essential furniture pieces that contrast beautifully while keeping within the neutral colour spectrum.

“A white table with a sleek chrome finish lends a striking, modern touch and blends seamlessly into the overall look,” she adds, “If tight on space, get a round table with a pedestal base. Otherwise, larger spaces can opt for an extending table that’s practical and space-saving. Elevate the look with chrome-legged dining chairs that play up clean lines with a high back.”

Another way to make a minimalist home come to life is to place indoor plants within the space. “Greenery is often what turns a house into a home, and when it comes to this trend, plants can add warmth like no other. Keep it simple with a couple of potted greens or hang some air varieties that function as air-purifiers, as a bonus,” Snowden says.

 

Furnish and decorate with simple, clean silhouettes

The best way to furnish your minimalistic space is to focus on decorative pieces that are purposeful, such as a knitted throw for dipping temperatures or a minimal lamp for reading. As for centerpieces, a cushy sofa with a clean silhouette oozes comfort and makes a space feel inviting.

“Minimalist living is perfect for those who revel in clutter-free environments and enjoy interior design with a purpose. Display one or two treasured items instead of multiple small objects, and always pick pieces intentionally,” says Snowden. “Rugs are a good one luxurious yet unfussy, and they double up to section off areas for different functions, while photos bring a sense of homeliness.”

Ultimately, Snowden notes being a minimalist doesn’t mean stripping all personality away “it simply means that what does get displayed is thoughtfully curated and means a lot.”

All photos courtesy Furniture Choice Ltd.

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Featured Agent: Frank D. Isoldi of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Frank D. Isoldi

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

D. 908.301.2038  |  O. 908.233.5555  |  Frankisoldi@gmail.com

Frank D. Isoldi is not only the No. 1 Sales Associate in his Westfield, NJ office, but also ranks No. 1 among more than 3,700 agents throughout Coldwell Banker’s NJ and Rockland County, NY offices. He represents the company’s top 1 percent of sales associates worldwide. Frank is recognized in The Wall Street Journal/Real Trends top 1,000 list of sales professionals by transaction volume. “Frank is known for his dedicated service to his clients … and we applaud his achievements,” said Hal Maxwell, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in NJ and Rockland County, NY.

Featured Listing by Frank D. Isoldi

101 Golf Edge, Westfield, NJ

Exceptional home located on the 12th tee of Echo Lake Country Club offering panoramic views. Newly painted interior, spacious light-filled rooms and designer touches. Finished basement with kitchenette, game room, play room, exercise room, media room, wine cellar and more! Six bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half baths. 

 

Offered at $2,500,000.

 

 

Frank D. Isoldi originally appeared as an Elite agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’19: Elite edition

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At the Helm of Spanish Beachfront Luxury in Vietnam

Spanish-born Manuel Ferriol, the general manager of the new five-star Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort, talks with us about what attracted him to Vietnam, why he’s been with Meliá Hotels International for 15 years, what’s so special about the only Spanish five-star beachfront resort in Vietnam’s south and why Vietnam has so much promise.

1) With substantial hospitality experience in Europe, what brought you to Vietnam and how has your time here treated you?

I always wanted to live and work abroad and a career in hospitality is the ticket to not only see the world but truly immerse yourself in it. After developing my hospitality career in Spain and becoming a resident manager, Meliá Hotels International offered me a number of options to take my career to the next level, including a terrific opportunity as director of operations at Meliá Hanoi, the Spanish group’s flagship hotel in Vietnam and recognized as one of the most luxurious MICE and events hotels in Asia. When I arrived in Vietnam in 2014, I immediately felt I had made the right decision and have never looked back.

After two years at Meliá Hanoi, I then became Meliá Danang’s general manager. My success in establishing the then-newly opened Meliá Danang, combined with my experience managing leisure and business hotels in Vietnam, resulted in my appointment as the new Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort’s general manager. Vietnam is the land of opportunity on so many fronts, particularly the luxury hospitality industry. It’s so rewarding to be here during Vietnam’s phenomenal rise as the Asia-Pacific’s fastest growing country in terms of tourism.

The best thing about Vietnam is its people. The Vietnamese are welcoming and hardworking, and have been integral to the success of our operations and service due to their diligence and innate, genuine warmth.

 

2) You have been with Meliá Hotel Group for 15 years, an impressive track record.  What is so special about working with the Spanish company and why have you worked with them for so long?   

Meliá Hotels International is a significant part of me after so long. When I first started out in hospitality, I worked with another international company for one year before deciding to move to Meliá Hotels International; not only due to it being the number one Spanish hotel company but also because it’s family-grown and family-run, and offered me exciting career and development opportunities right from the start.

As Meliá Hotels International has a total of seven brands that speak to difference audience segments, career opportunities are boundless. The group rewards talent and dedication with excellent opportunities to grow and surge into the future, professionally and personally. I joined Meliá’s internal management program and I’ve given my absolute best to Meliá. In return the group has definitely given its best back to me, helping me to learn, to develop, challenge and improve myself and has guided me during each and every step of my 15-year career with the group hitherto. I have a strong sense of belonging to a family and this is reinforced every day by my interactions with my fellow colleagues and Meliá Hotels International’s management.

I know many hospitality groups speak about a passion for service but Meliá Hotels International really delivers on this with Spanish warmth and hospitality that none of our competitors can match in a more modern, younger and fresher image. The group is also far-sighted when it comes to corporate social responsibility and its sustainable development goals related to areas such as removing all single-use plastics, and reducing water use and carbon dioxide emissions. So much so we have been ranked as the third most sustainable hotel company worldwide for 2018 by RobecoSAM, a sustainable investment agency responsible for evaluating companies for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

3) Can you tell us more about Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort?  Why should we head to Ho Tram and stay at your resort?

The resort is already deemed one of the most prestigious of the Meliá Hotels and Resorts portfolio globally and we aim to establish it as the top resort in Vietnam’s south as well as one of renown in Vietnam and the Asia Pacific. Our 17-hectare resort celebrated its grand opening on April 20 this year, cutting the ribbon on a host of world-class facilities such as three restaurants including a beach club, three swimming pools, a swim-up bar, a coffee shop, a 10-treatment room spa, an executive lounge, a ballroom and conference facilities, a kid’s club, gymnasium, gift shop and more.

All of our 152 rooms and suites face the ocean and afford panoramic views of Ho Tram beach. The 62 villas are mind blowing, ranging in size from 220sqm to 465sqm with no expense spared. The villas have their own private pools, BBQ areas, outdoor showers and gardens, living areas and separate dining areas. Four distinct food and beverage outlets – Breeza Beach Club, Muoi, Sasa and Elyxr café – and a swim-up bar make for a diverse culinary landscape luring casual and fine diners alike. Destined to be “the place to be” in Ho Tram and referencing the beach clubs of Ibiza and Bali, Breeza is situated right on the beach and will host live music, DJ sets, themed parties, and fire and dancing shows.

Ho Tram is fast developing a reputation as Ho Chi Minh City’s answer to New York’s Hamptons, Rome’s Sorrento and Sydney’s Blue Mountains; a go-to retreat where the well-heeled flock for a getaway that’s close by, upscale and restorative. With 500m of ocean frontage, this tropical setting is all the more spectacular as the sun rises to the left and goes down to the right in an incredible arc over the East Sea each day. We can’t wait to welcome you to our sublime piece of paradise.

4) Meliá Hotels International is significantly investing in Vietnam and the Asia Pacific. Why has the group set its sights on Vietnam?

Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort heralds a new era for Meliá Hotels International as the first property to open in southern Vietnam under the Meliá Hotels and Resorts brand and the fourth for Vietnam. Meliá Ho TramBeach Resort joins Meliá Hanoi, Meliá Danang and Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat as part of the group’s burgeoning portfolio. Plans call for Meliá Cam Ranh Bay, Meliá Ninh Binh and Meliá Saigon Central to open in 2020.

Meliá has grown particularly quickly in Vietnam, where it already had 13 hotels either open or in the pipeline, making it one of the leading international hotel companies in the country. In response to the “bleisure” (business and leisure) travel trend, Meliá Hotels International is particularly focused on the Asia Pacific’s emerging economic zones and key MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) destinations, with 75% of our hotels catering to the bleisure market in this region.Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort is situated in a coastal enclave only a two-hour drive from Vietnam’s economic capital Ho Chi Minh City, offering MICE planners and delegates a reinvigorating ocean-side location with ample space and cutting-edge technology.

 

Upstairs, above our lobby and foyer, the 420sqm ballroom hosts up to 400 people for a cocktail reception and 270 for a banquet with lively themes ranging from Mediterranean and Spanish to Indochine.  An adjacent sprawling terrace with a panoramic vista of the resort and the beach provides a picturesque spot for gala dinners. The ballroom can also be divided into three smaller meeting and function rooms.   

 

Meanwhile, domestic tourists are increasingly traveling to the host of beautiful destinations on their home turf. The numbers of international tourists flocking to Vietnam increase year after year. According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), for 2018, the country welcomed 15.5 million visitors, a 20 percent spike on 2017.

The fact that so much is happening in Vietnam is all the more impressive in light of just how quickly things have progressed here. Vietnam has enjoyed the world’s second-fastest growth rate in GDP per person since 1990, and no doubt tourism has played a role in this positive trajectory. Despite its skyrocketing growth, we believe Vietnam is not an oversaturated market whose most exciting days are yet to come.  

 

Photos courtesy of Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort

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